Problems of Archaeology, Ethnography, Anthropology of
Siberia and Neighboring Territories

ISSN 2658-6193 (Online)

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2020 Volume XXVI

DOI: 10.17746/2658-6193.2020.26.421-427

УДК 299.4

On Variability of Sacrificial Rites in the Late Bronze Age

Efremova N.S., Molodin V.I., Kravtsova A.S., Kudinova M.A., Durakov I.A.

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This article presents a comparative analysis of ritual activities associated with sacrificial rites among the carriers of the Eastern version of the Pakhomovo culture. According to archaeological evidence from the ritual complexes of the Tartas-1 site, the most common method of sacrifice was placing the offerings in the pits of various sizes and depths. The basis of the sacrificial rite could have been the “pars pro toto” principle which is manifested by the absence of intact pottery in the archaeological collection (there are only numerous, but different types of pottery fragments) and presence of meat food which appears in the form of animal bones, mostly represented by skull and limbs, which may also indicate their use in ritual activities. A clearly distinctive feature is placing human remains in sacrificial pits. This study presents one more variety of sacrificial offering, which was discovered in the current field season and involved placing sacrificial offerings in a spacious deep pit which functioned for a long time. In total, three variants of sacrificial pits associated with the sanctuary under study are known. Presence ofvarious types of sacrificial pits at ritual complexes with generally stable ritual elements (such as pottery fragments, remains of sacrificial meat, artifacts associated with fishing and hunting, human remains, unusual stones, etc.) may indicate the (co)existence of several variants of sacrificial rites. This phenomenon can be explained both by polyfunctionality of the sanctuary (sacrificial offerings to different deities, which required different ritual actions), and gradual transformation of irrational views among the carriers of the Pakhomovo culture, caused by foreign and autochthonous traditions.


ritual complex, sacrifice, osteological remains, ceramics, ritual, ideological ideas

Chief Editor
Academician A.P. Derevyanko

Deputy Chief Editor
Academician V.I. Molodin

17, Аkademika Lavrentieva prosp., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

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